A Christian College of the Liberal Arts & Sciences

Houghton College Philharmonia

The Houghton Philharmonia is a flexible group of 50-60 orchestral musicians, including strings, winds, and percussion.  Both music and non-music majors participate in this ensemble, as well as players from the community.  Student membership is open; seating assignments are made based on a rotational system, enabling advanced musicians to mentor members with less experience. 

Prospective students: We invite you to visit a Philharmonia rehearsal during your visit to Houghton College. Rehearsals are always open; e-mail us for details a few days in advance of your visit.

The Philharmonia believes in going beyond being a "Sonic Museum" and regularly performs works by living composers, including repertoire from the film, pop, video game and art music genres. Houghton student and faculty composers frequently have their music performed and read in rehearsal.  Most recently the orchestra has performed music by Mark Hijleh, David Davies, Mason Bates and Robert Denham.  In addition, the traditional musical eras—works of Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Post-Romantic, and later Twentieth-Century masters--are performed and studied.  In Fall 2014, the Philharmonia will continue its longstanding Greatbatch Concerto Competition; winners will perform with the Philharmonia or the Symphonic Winds Ensemble.

The Houghton Philharmonia is directed by music director and conductor Dr. Justin Davis, conductor Prof. Stephen Thomas, and graduate students.

Instrumental Ensemble Placement Auditions 

All Houghton students in the Philharmonia complete a short placement audition.  Audition information and sign-up is online at https://drd.youcanbook.me.  Audition material will be announced in addition to students being asked to play scales and sight-read.  Please arrive a few minutes early.  If you have any questions regarding auditions or participation in an instrumental ensemble, please email Dr. Justin Davis at justin.davis@houghton.edu.  We look forward to hearing your audition, meeting you, and having you participate with us this year!  All Houghton students are invited to participate in Philharmonia, regardless of major!